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Carolina91GT-S
05-11-2009, 03:02 AM
You guys know of any diy auto garage type places around?

What I mean is a space you rent out by the hour, day, week, month, etc where you can work on your car. Includes all manner of tools and any other resources you might need such as hoists, engine stands, possibly a lift, air compressors, paint booth, sand blasters, parts washers, etc ..you get the idea

I think people would dig something like this if it were available. especially people who can't/don't have the resources or space to do car work...

What would you expect to pay for something like this and what input would you have for someone who wanted to to start something like this? What would you like to see?

METDeath
05-11-2009, 03:07 AM
Only issues I'd see would be missing sockets and such...

taibones
05-11-2009, 04:00 AM
where in north carolina are you

Carolina91GT-S
05-11-2009, 04:17 AM
Hillsborough...Raleigh/Durham area..where are you Taibones?

Missing tools and such can be addressed by sign in/ sign out protocals

tuner4life
05-11-2009, 04:18 AM
The only thing like that I have heard of is at military bases and are not open to the public.

Fox 21 Alpha
05-11-2009, 04:18 AM
I'd def be interested if they have a place around here. Working on my lawn sucks. My dad used to go to such places back in the day, but seems they all closed up due to insurance issues and stuff. Sucks.....

Murgatroy
05-11-2009, 04:21 AM
I'd def be interested if they have a place around here. Working on my lawn sucks. My dad used to go to such places back in the day, but seems they all closed up due to insurance issues and stuff. Sucks.....
Exactly.

Insurance would kill you.

Hard.

joe's gt
05-11-2009, 04:56 AM
I honestly think it would be a great idea if you could work out the liability, insurance, etc. The whole idea of very expensive things getting stolen is what seems to me to make it hard. Definitely not a bad idea tho. I am not familiar with business starting up a business or anything like that, so i don't know much about insurance but I could understand how it could be an issue with all of the liability and security issues.

Lonestag
05-11-2009, 05:04 AM
Actually, I think the two brothers who do car talk on NPR used to own a place like that. I don't think it did too well for the reasons mentioned above.

It would be a great if it would work though, I would definantly patronize it.

Carolina91GT-S
05-11-2009, 05:16 AM
The car talk guys did it, but they ended up helping everyone work on their cars and didn't run it like a business.

I read that they said something along these lines....
"We knew our idea was brilliant and thought we'd have wheelbarrows full of money to show for it. Of course, the do-it-yourselfers who came in were such klutzes that we felt sorry for them, and we'd end up working on their cars for $2.50 an hour, which is what they were paying to supposedly do their own work. So we ended up fixing all the cars that came in. I mean, if some poor chump is spending all day trying to change his spark plugs, you can't help but give him a hand. Consequently, we ended up helping everyone all the time, and we made no money at all."

Futant3
05-11-2009, 05:17 PM
Seems to me that is an issue of self control which I understand could be hard for car guys. The other thing is that you could weed out those idiots with the pricing. It just needs to be a reasonable amount cheaper than shop labor but expensive enough that you only get projects that really need the facilities like lifts, etc.

grayscale
05-11-2009, 05:47 PM
Yep, you can find these on most any military installation in the US, we had several up there in Norfolk and VA Beach. I really wouldn't view it as a money making operation though, the potential just isn't there, but they are wonderful to have.
At the ones I went to there was a flat hourly fee for bay rental and a flat hourly fee for tool rental no matter what the tool, and they got around missing tools by taking your license when you signed a tool out. Each bay had a locked tool cabinet of sorts with most basic tools which was opened for you upon receiving the tool fee and license and then inspected before your license was returned. Specialty tools could be rented one at a time for another fee or more than one at a time for multiple fees. The idea being to keep one from hogging a bunch of stuff at once. I believe you could also dispose of oil and such for a fee. Some bays had lifts in them with a higher hourly rate. The worst part is these things were always crammed full on the weekends and I sometimes had to wait for hours to get a bay.

Carolina91GT-S
05-11-2009, 09:44 PM
I used them when I was in the military as well. Always had the same problem...swamped with people.

Anyway, we are thinking of trying this...would really appreciate anyone who has feedback.

We are currently working on an insurance solution...

still trying to figure out rates etc, available facilities...etc

taibones
05-12-2009, 12:01 AM
im in fayetteville nc there are two skill centers on post the 82nd has been closed for two years but there is one that does stay open the skill center in fort benning, ga is better then the one here, when a car gets left in an area on post for so long they are considered abandoned and they sell them at auction once a month

Hipster Lawrence
05-12-2009, 12:06 AM
What would you let people do? I mean say you have a 4 bay shop and you got 2 retards taking 8 hours to do some drum brakes what do you do then? What about when those same retards take apart the entire engine trying to get it out? (I have actually seen this BTW, dude pulled the head and everything trying to get an engine out) I mean I guess it's not your problem if it leaves on a hook but I'd feel bad ya know.

I have just seen so many things go terribly wrong in a shop where the mechanics were "professional" to understand how this would work. It seems like the only way to be profitable would be to charge them 50 or 60 bucks an hour to use the shop.

Think about it I have 20-30k worth of tools easy and I still borrow tools ALL THE TIME.

Carolina91GT-S
05-12-2009, 12:23 AM
Exactly.... people pay by the hour, day, week, month...etc. I don't care how long it takes them. They pay for access/tool rental then what they fix/ruin/modify is up to them.

note: you have 20-30k of the wrong tools then. :wiggle:

Hipster Lawrence
05-12-2009, 01:11 AM
note: you have 20-30k of the wrong tools then. :wiggle:

Man you'd be surprised how fast little stuff adds up I mean I probably have at least 1500 bucks in wrenches. But You should buy the cheapest tools possible since you're not the only one using them.

joe's gt
05-12-2009, 02:24 AM
I kind of agree with the statement about someone taking forever to do a simple job. I know they are paying to rent the place, but its not just there money, its the fact that other people will get frustrated with not having access to the bay. And its not like you can kick someone out with their car in pieces.

Somehow you would have to impose time restrictions depending on the job and maybe charge extra for a tow service to a shop if the vehicle could not be fixed in the allotted time. Idk, lol, just throwing things out there.

Carolina91GT-S
05-12-2009, 03:55 AM
I would like to hear what kinds of things you think would be good features in a place like this...

what would you expect to pay for access to a place like this? hourly? Daily? weekly? monthly?

a towing service offering is part of the plan as well.

I think maybe I haven't made the idea clear. There is more than one bay in the facility. There would be many. The idea that people are there in line to use a bay isn't how we have the plan arranged. The idea that someone takes a long time to work on their car is not an issue, there would be many bays for people to use, you could even rent out a bay for an extended period, kind of think of it as a combination between a storage unit and a gym membership. I would happy if all of the bays were full and the appointment book was full, Anyway...people in line to buy your service isn't a bad thing in the business world.

METDeath
05-12-2009, 04:32 AM
I think if you went with something like what storage units use, and include an hourly, daily, weekly, and monthly rate. Either for a specific stall or just free range usage.

An example would be: someone thought they were going to need a week due to whatever factors, but they're like me and the car they are working on runs all the time, just needing room to do little projects over a period of a few days. They could purchase a week's usage, but change stalls if need be. Basically they could check in and out daily and know that they a place to leave the car if need be.

(Not sure if that makes sense or not)

As for insurance... HUGE waiver should help...

Oh, and have a shop safety class and provide safety glasses/googles/gloves etc in every stall. Include a pre-use inspection sheet that is checked off by the user and an employee before use of the stall.

Carolina91GT-S
05-12-2009, 05:09 AM
Thanks for the input MET

kind of like a phone plan...you get X # of minutes, use them when you want

METDeath
05-12-2009, 05:52 AM
Kind of... but remember to let shit expire after a while... like six months or so.

Hipster Lawrence
05-12-2009, 01:49 PM
what would you expect to pay for access to a place like this? hourly? Daily? weekly? monthly?


Well a mechanic that makes 20.00 an hour flat rate in a shop that charges 80.00 an hour is essentially "renting" the bay for 60.00 an hour.

You would have MUCH lower overhead, less headache from customers etc so you could afford to charge alot less maybe 30 or so bucks an hour. Or 100 bucks a day something like that.

taibones
05-12-2009, 02:06 PM
i dont know if it was brought up but you could have a yard in the back so if someone ran out of money the could rent a parking spot till they had time or money to finish the project

Carolina91GT-S
05-12-2009, 08:47 PM
keep it coming guys....vehicle storage is on our roadmap as well

Our ball park pricing is similar to what you outline

Lonestag
05-12-2009, 09:48 PM
I'm really starting to dig this idea. Maybe I'll look into doing this in columbus.
I think a lot of your problems with having people take too long on jobs could be fixed by a healthy combination of having people make appointments for time slots, renting out parking in the back and towing if neccessary.

I think I would utilize somthing like this if it were local to me.

Nitro_Alltrac
05-13-2009, 12:53 AM
I think this is an excellent idea. I've heard of being able to rent spray booths in some areas but not a mechanical bay outside of the military bases. Having access to air tools and lifts would be real boon to the plan. I know I would utilize a place like this.

Definitely get the insurance deal straightened out. Even with a signed waiver, you're still up to idiots suing you and the way the civil legal system works a lot of the time, they win (HOT McDonald's coffee anyone??).

Fox 21 Alpha
05-13-2009, 03:37 AM
I think this is an excellent idea. I've heard of being able to rent spray booths in some areas but not a mechanical bay outside of the military bases. Having access to air tools and lifts would be real boon to the plan. I know I would utilize a place like this.

Definitely get the insurance deal straightened out. Even with a signed waiver, you're still up to idiots suing you and the way the civil legal system works a lot of the time, they win (HOT McDonald's coffee anyone??).


Actually the McDonald's case was pretty legit, they had it at over 170 degrees that day, where the norm for coffee is like around 120, and she did recieve heavy burns (Bathroom reader lol).

Anyways yeah he's right about the waivers though, they're not a save all, my dad's a lawyer, and has said that any waiver can be gotten around with a good enough lawyer or case against it. I know insurance for random crazy shit like bunjee jumping racing and stuff can run pretty high but hell.....if you make it work...start a chain....I want a lift I can use lol